Category Archives: Ed Tech

The truth about teenagers and how they’re learning from the Internet


We recently did a survey and asked a group of 12-18 year olds about how they use the Internet to support their learning.

Of the 83 who responded,  92.11%  said that they used the Internet for learning at least once a week: nothing unexpected there.

The interesting bit came when we asked them about the sites they’re using. We’d assumed that they’d be using a whole range of sites to suit their varying styles of learning and needs. Wrong!

Those who responded said they used a very small range of sites – just 11 in total, with the most used being Wikipedia (31.81%) Google (20.45%) BBC (13.63%) and My Maths (13.63%).

We thought that was a real shame. They’re missing out on so much good stuff and really not making the most of what the Internet has to offer for learning.

That’s when we decided to do something about it – and created Rockfig.

So if you know of any teenagers who could do with learning from a much broader range of resources from across the web, and  would like to save time trying to find the right ones, please let them know about Rockfig.



Do videos really help people to learn?


If you’ve used Rockfig you’ll know that Rockfig members love video. Most Collections contain at least one video and many contain more.

But why do people like learning from videos and how can videos enhance learning?

Take a look at this great infographic from CISCO: It has all the answers.


Video in Education : CISCO

How Rockfig helps you meet the challenges of flipped learning

Flipped learning is on the rise.

According to recently released research from the Speak Up National Research Project, flipped learning is surpassing all other digital trend in US schools and is growing in popularity in the UK too.

What is flipped learning?

In a nutshell, it’s ‘using videos as homework while using class time for more in-depth learning such as discussions, projects, experiments, and to provide personalised coaching to individual students.’



The research found that:

  • Among district administrators, 25 percent identify flipped learning as already having a significant impact on transforming teaching and learning in their district, surpassing other trends such as educational games and mobile apps (21 percent). An additional 40 percent of administrators said they were interested in their teachers “trying flipped learning” this year (2014)
  • One out of six maths and science teachers are implementing a flipped learning model using videos that they have created or sourced online
  •  Almost one-fifth of current teachers have “learning how to flip my classroom” on their wish list for professional development this year
  • 75 percent of middle and high school students agree that flipped learning would be a good way for them to learn, with 32 percent of those students strongly agreeing with that idea

But what are the challenges of flipped learning?


Students may not have internet access at home  – but with the ever increasing number of students with smart phones this challenge is slowly diminishing.


Teachers need to know how to ‘best use’ the additional classroom time – but with support, shared experience and appropriate professional development this challenge can be overcome.


Teachers may need help finding the high quality, age and curriculum appropriate videos they need to give to their students for homework – and that’s where Rockfig comes in!

Rockfig has been created to help Teachers, Students and Parents find and share the web’s best learning resources for 11-18 year olds – and it’s FREE.

So if you know of a great resource that might help those wanting to flip their classrooms, please share it on Rockfig and help overcome this challenge.

And don’t miss out on our offer to find resources for you!
Find out more in this blog post.


We’d love to hear about your opinions on and experiences of flipped learning so please get in touch.

Here are a few links if you’d like to find out more:




Why I love school texts

I’m sure many of you’ll agree, that the text messages that schools send to parents, have become invaluable – keeping us informed, saving us time and helping those of us ( …ok me) who struggle with getting PE kits in on the right days.

Of course they have their serious side too. The one below was sent to thousands of parents across Manchester a while back, after a man tried to snatch a child as she walked to school. Police and schools alike now see this direct communication route to parents as invaluable.

Warning texts

But is there anything that shouldn’t be sent to parents in a text?
Bournville Primary School in Weston, recently sent a text to parents asking them to get in touch if any of their children were adopted. The move came after the Government revealed it’s plan to make pupil premium payments of £1,900 per pupil available for adopted children from reception to year 11.
I wonder if this should have been dealt with more sensitively, but the Head’s argument was that parents respond far better to texts than anything else, and he has a point; figures show that 95% of texts are read within the first 5 minutes after they’re received.

But getting back to why I love school texts: Firstly they let me reminisce as they remind me of the things I used to deal with when I was a teacher myself, and secondly amongst the many (and boy there are many!) a few are gems that make me smile:

‘A boy in Year 5 has lost a Clarks left shoe’

‘Today is the last chance to order real eggs’  ???

‘Match is cancelled due to bad weather’   – I’ve had this one 12 times since Christmas 🙂

‘Head lice are present in your child’s class’ – 6 times this school year

And probably the most important text I’ve had this year and my favourite: ‘ Its fish fingers on Friday instead of fish-cakes’.

So I highly recommend that when you’ve got nothing better to do, scroll through your school’s texts  – and please share the gems.


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